Saudi crown prince visits Algiers without meeting president

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"Prince Mohammed. he really was the original El Chapo, literally", said Louisiana Senator John Kennedy on Tuesday as US President Donald Trump was under pressure for maintaining support for the murderous prince.

Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly tortured, murdered and then dismembered via a bone saw by Saudi operatives at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

He added: "You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of [Mohammed bin Salman] and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi".

Corker was about as full-throated, saying, "If the Crown Prince went in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes" - another clear rebuke to Trump's statement and Pompeo's and Mattis' suggestions that this is some kind of unknown. Pompeo said there was "no direct reporting" connecting the crown prince to the murder, and Mattis said there was "no smoking gun" making the connection.

"I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept appraised of the situation all the way through it", Corker told reporters.

Appearing as part of a panel on the Outnumbered program on Fox News, the pundit, who also hosts her own show on the Fox Business Network, laid out her passionate criticism of the decision made by successive USA administrations to maintain close ties with Riyadh.

US Republican Senator Richard Shelby said the Central Intelligence Agency director's briefing on Jamal Khashoggi's homicide confirmed a lot of "our thoughts about the reprehensible killing, something no one in the US would approve of".

"I am now more convinced than I was before - and I was pretty convinced - that in fact the United States must have a strong response to both the war in Yemen as well as the killing of the United States permanent resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi", Senate Democrat Bob Menendez said. Senators overwhelmingly voted last week to move forward on a resolution curtailing USA backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was shunned by some leaders at the G20 summit
RICARDO MAZALAN APSaudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was shunned by some leaders at the G20 summit

Khashoggi, who was living near Washington and contributing to The Washington Post, was killed on October 2 when he went into the consulate for paperwork related to his planned marriage.

"To let it stand, in essence allows somebody like MBS to continue with immunity which is inappropriate", Corker said, adding that the Trump administration "puts Congress in a place where now we feel like we need to speak out, that this can not stand".

Henzel said the administration condemned the action and it would continue to press for accountability.

But Graham said he would not support the joint resolution that would cut off military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

The administration has publicly backed peace talks this month in Sweden, brokered through U.N. Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, to bring about an end to the conflict.

Senators were outraged that Haspel did not show for the meeting last week, blaming the White House for her absence and voting to advance that Yemen resolution.

The resolution has to overcome several hurdles before it is passed, due to arcane Senate rules. The Senate ultimately passed that measure by a very wide margin, and debate on the resolution itself is expected to begin soon.

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